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Don’t Expect SEC Games On Sundays This Fall

SEC fans are starting to talk — on radio shows, on messageboards, on blogs — about the possibility of college football games being moved to Sundays this fall if the NFL has a lockout.

Makes sense.  The networks would want something to put on television in lieu of pro games.  What better league to showcase than the SEC?  And the league already has deals in place with CBS and ESPN.  Both would have NFL holes to fill on their programming schedules.

There’s just one small problem with this idea, however — it ain’t happening.

If you read us regularly, you know that we’ll now hedge our bet by saying, “Never say never.”  Having now said that, think about the issues involved here:

1.  The SEC is located smack in the middle of the Bible Belt.  Some churches and church-goers would no doubt take issue with Sunday football.  Still, that’s just a small nuisance, a PR hiccup.  But…

2.  What about the coaches who would be faced with short weeks of practice before the next weekend’s games?  Television exposure is a big plus, but last-second schedule changes would be frowned upon by most coaches.  If they know weeks/months in advance of a Thursday or Monday game, they can prepare for it.  Last minute?  No thanks.

3.  And any of these moves would have to be last-minute adjustments.  An NFL lockout could end at any time.  Let’s say CBS decides to move this fall’s Georgia-South Carolina game from Saturday, September 10th to Sunday, September 11th.  What if the NFL lockout ends on September 1st?  Is there enough time to move UGA-USC back to Saturday to make room for NFL action (that’s guaranteed coverage contractually)?  Probably so… if you’re just talking about the teams and coaches.  But what about the fans?

4.  Ah, yes, what about the fans?  Passionate SEC-backers RV, bus, boat and wing their way to various SEC stadiums each weekend.  Would a fan who has booked a Friday night hotel and Friday-Sunday flights be enthused about his school moving a game from Saturday to Sunday?  And if he adjusts his travel plans to fit a Sunday game, would he be thrilled to learn that the game is moving back to Saturday because the NFL owners and players have reached an agreement?  Not likely.

Never say never.  Anything’s possible.  Yada yada yada.

But the odds of SEC football games moving to Sundays this fall figure to be slim-to-none at this point.


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